New Menu: Australasia, Manchester
Every so often a menu needs a refresh – not because the old one was bad, often far from it. But chefs, as much as bar staff need to create, and a change of season leads to new produce, new ideas. New pretty things for our taste buds.
Over at Australasia, they launched their updated menu in style with a little menu and cocktail sampling, that I, of course, headed over to. Not just because I was hungry, but because I’m just plain nosey. I’m intermittently a lady who lunches at Australasia and was overcome with curiosity to see what had changed.
Cocktail wise, there are a number of changes and a whole new world of drinks for you to sample. Bar Guru, Ray has launched tempting drinks like Dreams of the Orient (El Dorado 5 year old rum, plum sake, rose and lychee noir tea, lime and and chocolate). And the Plum & Chocolate Sidecar (Martel VS, plum sake, lemon and chocolate bitters.
We sampled two in particular. The Rattlesnake featured El Jimador Blanco tequila, lime, chilli gomme, egg white and coconut and grapefruit foam. The result was a sweet and sour smoky drink, with a lusciously dense foam. I may have loved the foam more than the cocktail and could have eaten it with a spoon!
The second was The Wax Seal – definitely one for the whiskey lover. Bulleit Bourbon, Belsazar Red, plum sake, bitters, port and water, which is then aged in a old Bulleit barrel from Kentucky. The ageing process adds to the ‘Bourbon’ notes of the drink, with lots of cinnamon and woody flavours. Each is aged for a different length of time, and you get to break open the wax topped bottle yourself.
Onto the food, and as ever there was a selection of delicious sushi, light, flavourful and oh, so moreish. The oysters too proved a hit, with a spicy nam jin dressing. The heat of which may have caught one or two people out!
The vegetable tempura was crisp heaven, and deserving of it’s place as a full dish, rather than a side, or garnish to a larger plate. Even the most hardy of vegetable haters must find the process of coating them in a light crisp batter and deep frying them, somewhat delicious.
And for the seafood lover (me!) there was a sampler of the squid ink cured monkfish, with tempura squid. A delicious mouthful of dense fish, and crisp squid. I’m going to need a big, big plate of this please.
This little snapshot is merely a teaser – and I can’t wait for my diary to clear a smidge, so I can head in and feast!
With thanks to Australasia for the invitation to their new menu launch event.